Web Application Optimization: Cases, Tips, Tricks & Tools


Optimization

Website Optimization or Conversion Optimization has always been the need and core requirement for any web application and for every organization.

Conversion rate optimization is the process of finding and eliminating the roadblocks and confusion on your website that keep website visitors from achieving their goals.

Think the speed of your website doesn’t matter? Think again. A 1-second delay in page load time yields:

  • 11% fewer page views
  • 16% decrease in customer satisfaction
  • 7% loss in conversions (source: Aberdeen Group)

Amazon found this to be true, reporting increased revenue of 1% for every 100 milliseconds improvement to their site speed. (Source: Amazon)

So did Walmart, who found a 2% increase in conversions for every 1 second of improvement.

From Akamai:

  • 47% of people expect a web page to load in two seconds or less.
  • 40% will abandon a web page if it takes more than three seconds to load.
  • 52% of online shoppers say quick page loads are important for their loyalty to a site.

By following the process below you can improve the performance of your website through continual optimization.

1- Idea – Review your analytics and look for parts of your funnel that are performing poorly, such as pages with a high bounce or exit rates. Collect qualitative feedback from visitors as to why they’re not converting. You can brainstorm potential causes of poor performance to build a list of website optimizations to test.

2- Prioritize – After building your list of potential optimizations, you need to put them in priority order. Put them in a spreadsheet and rank them in order of their anticipated impact, your confidence in their potential to improve performance and how easy it is to implement the change.

3- Test your optimizations – A/B testing your website optimizations is the next step. Keep changes that improve the performance of your site, eliminate those that don’t.

4- Analyze tests – Review the testing data to determine which hypotheses were true and which weren’t. By implementing the winning tests you’ll optimize your website for higher conversions with each winning variation. Make sure you don’t end tests too early so that you don’t fall victim to misleading testing data.

5- Optimize your website – Put your winning tests into play and learn from tests that didn’t win. Use both outcomes as inspiration for successive tests to run. Remember, website optimization is an ongoing process that produces its best gains over time.

Best Website Optimization Tools (Qualitative)

Qualaroo – Qualaroo is an on-site survey tool that enables you to collect visitor feedback in real time. Qualaroo helps you understand why visitors leave, get confused or don’t convert. On-site surveying is a key tool for optimizing your website.

Feng-GUI – Feng-GUI uses thousands of eye tracking studies to analyze your landing pages for visual focus and attention. See where people are focusing on your landing pages to ensure that they’re looking at what you want them to see. This is a great tool for eliminating distractions from your conversion funnel to improve your conversion rate.

Best Website Optimization Tools (Quantitative)

Let’s face it. If you’re going to optimize your site you need to know what’s going on with it in the first place.

Google Analytics – The de facto free analytics tool for many websites. A great product that can give you robust insights on what’s happening on your website.

KISSMetrics – Google Analytics tells you what’s happening on your website, KISSMetrics tells you who is doing it. Their people-level and cohort reporting let you understand what types of visitors are the most valuable and which paths through your website are the highest converting. Use KISSMetrics to go deeper than Google Analytics data.

CrazyEgg – CrazyEgg is a heat mapping tool that allows you to see where your visitors click and how far down the page they scroll. If you have a special offer or call to action in a location where only 30% of your visitors ever see, you have a huge opportunity to optimize your website simply by making that element more visible.

10 Most Essentials for optimizing the website speed:

  1. Minimize HTTP Requests
  • Streamline the number of elements on your page.
  • Use CSS instead of images whenever possible.
  • Combine multiple style sheets into one.
  • Reduce scripts and put them at the bottom of the page.

2- Reduce server response time: Google recommends using a web application monitoring solution for bottlenecks in performance.

Some best resources:

  • Yslow – to evaluate your site’s speed and get tips on how to improve performance.
  • Google’s PageSpeed Tools – to learn more about performance best-practice and automate the process.

3- Enable Compression Compression reduces the bandwidth of your pages, thereby reducing HTTP response. You do this with a tool called Gzip.

4- Enable caching

5- Minify Resources

5- Optimize images

7- Optimize CSS- Delivery

  • CSS Delivery Tool – Tells you how many external stylesheets your website is using.
  • Instructions for combining external CSS files. Here

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About Nikhil Kumar

Senior Software Consultant at Knoldus Software LLP.
This entry was posted in Scala and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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